Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Some Departing Thoughts from Mark Pieth

Osasu Obayiuwana today publishes some additional parts of his interview with Mark Pieth conducted at the 2013 Play the Game conference. Pieth looks back with no regrets:
"I am never one that shirks a challenge, so I would have still taken up this position, even with all the challenges I have faced... I am an eternal optimist," he told me in Aarhus, Denmark, during the last 'Play The Game' conference.

"Things will change but they are going to change at a much slower pace than one would like. This is natural. FIFA is a self-regulating body and no one is forcing them to change, except angry voices in the media and the wider public. But they are not very scared of us," he says, matter-of-factly.

"I have to say that I have been quite astonished with the 'measure of emotionality' (his exact words) that is linked to this topic [of reform].

"As an Argentinian expert told me, it (the struggle within football) is not about the game, it's about power and money... He was being honest.

"The continental confederations are very strong and autonomous and they are an inbuilt opposition to reforms.

"I have been astonished that it has been UEFA, of all the confederations, that flexed their muscles in blocking changes, particularly southern Europeans who were determined to subvert the process."
Both Pieth and FIFA are moving on.


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